Sunday, December 25, 2016

A white Christmas and lesson of love


 Living on the coastal plains of southeast Texas, one never dreams of a white Christmas. This year while visiting our son & family, we woke to a brilliant white Christmas morning in Utah! It was supremely magnificent to celebrate the birth of our Savior on the Sabbath day. 
We had a lovely musical church service with my daughter in law Rhiannon singing in the choir. They sang "Do You Hear What I Hear", "I Saw Three Ships", "Candelight", and Vivaldi's "Gloria".  Each song was preceded by a "biography" of origin which I found fascinating, and meaningful.  
The real miracle of this snowy Christmas day was the lesson I learned from of the father of a handicapped child.
We sat behind a family of five children, all tall, and beautiful, capable, and "normal" in our world, except one. 
A little boy about 8 or 9 who possibly has a form of autism was snuggled right next to his dad. During the service he would randomly speak out loudly or fuss about something he wanted. I marveled at the tender patience of this father. There was angelic love on his face as he smiled upon and calmed his son. He rubbed his back, ruffled his hair, whispered in his ear, and wrapped his arms around this precious boy.
 As the congregation stood to sing Silent Night, the boy loudly shouted out a few words to join in the singing. I could not stop the tears. The heavenly love from this father was sweet and constant no matter the actions of this young boy. Never once did even a hint of frustration cross his countenance. It seemed his whole purpose was to comfort and to love with all of his heart.
A window seemed to opened to heaven and I clearly understood how God feels about us, his children. We may not be quite whole, our understanding or intellect stunted, we may fuss and complain, shouting out in awkward moments. With our limitations, Heavenly Father still smiles on us with tender love, showers us with compassion, and extends a glorious mercy we rarely deserve. My enlightened understanding of this perfect love was magnified by the poignant Christmas melody we were singing..."Silent night, Holy night. All is calm, All is bright. Round yon virgin, mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild.".....
I could feel the holiness of the day and imagine the serenity of Christ's birth in that lowly manger. I keenly felt that we are wholly loved in spite of our deficiencies. This father reminded me that small and simple acts of love matter the most. 
What a joyful Christmas day! Indeed, a magnificent lesson on a snowy winter day from a tender father. This sweet boy will be whole in body and mind in the world to come. His mission in this life is to teach those around him to love, to be like Christ, whose birth we celebrate this day. I do not know the father of this remarkable boy. He will never understand the gift of love he gave me this day...a Christmas of pure white...which has turned out better than I ever dreamed. 

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